A reader wrote in about bumping into Real Change vendor Cat outside the PCC in Fremont and asked us follow up with her about where she’s been recently, and why she’s left her spot in front of Bartell Drugs. Cat sent us an update providing insight into the jockeying for locations which goes on among our street community:
To answer your query as to why I moved my selling location from the Wallingford Bartell’s [sic] to the Fremont PCC I will do my best to try to explain it. Let me start by telling you what reasons were NOT a factor:
- The employees at Bartell’s. They were great to me. No complaints there.
- The customers, also, great.
It was, pure and simple, the panhandlers. If they got to the corner before you did, well, too bad for you. So what if you sell the paper…you can come back later or go somewhere else…That was the attitude, almost verbatim, of the majority of them. On rare occasions, I was able to negotiate something with a few of them. I’ve actually paid people to vacate “my spot.”
So it got to where, when I was met with opposition at Bartell’s, I would go to the PCC which, at that time of day (11:00 AM-12:00 PM or so) was empty of any sidewalk activity other than normal foot traffic maybe a musician. This happened frequently enough that, one day, I decided to just stay on the bus and get off in Fremont directly. My modus operandi remains the same, and so, I’ve made friends with the employees at PCC who(m) I can safely say that they would miss me if I were to go back to Bartell’s…
Wait a doggone minute–I just got a great idea–why don’t I work it out so that I sell at Bartell’s all day Saturday and at PCC during the week, during the 11:00 AM–3:00PM shift? It would be challenging to see what would happen if — no, when I need to leave my post to relieve myself of recycled fluids–just how quickly a panhandler would be there to take over my spot… But if the panhandlers make it miserable for me on these upcoming Saturdays, you Wallingfordian supporters will just have to come down to Fremont to see me in action at my new spot.
And please tell me what you think about the panhandlers…Wallingford seems to have a pretty high concentration of them, al ot of them regulars. I appreciate your continued interest in me and want you to know that in spite of all that hullabaloo about the panhandlers, my artwork is catching on. Awaiting your replies…—Catherine